From the Sewanee Mountain Messenger 5/22/2020
Well, Monday we mark the unofficial start of Summer as we celebrate Memorial Day. It is always a special time for me but this year it represents a milestone. On Sunday my wife and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Seems like yesterday!
Last month, my report focused on the Sewanee Business Alliance and all they are doing to survive and adjust to the conditions of the pandemic. They have done an amazing job in reaching out and raising money from our community near and far. These much needed donations have gone directly to Sewanee Businesses who have applied for assistance. To date, they have raised in excess of $28,000. They have plans to continue this effort through additional campaigns that include matching gifts, raffles and other ways to generate funds to help our businesses. Please consider looking at their “Pay It Forward Sewanee” campaign for contributions to their general fund and promotional merchandise and gift cards for specific businesses at www.sewaneevillage.com
I am also happy to report that Vice-Chancellor Elect Reuben E. Brigety held a meet and greet meeting with the Sewanee Business Alliance via Zoom. Dr. Brigety provided some opening comments and stated that he was “Honored to have been selected to be the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of the South and Mayor of the town of Sewanee” He emphasized that the Village was a vital component of the University and that the vibrancy of the town is essential to compete for students. Each participant introduced themselves and their businesses to Dr. Brigety. The only thing missing was the coffee and donuts. Dr. Brigety takes office on Tuesday June 16th.
Earlier this week, the University held its fourth annual Tiger Tuesday fundraising campaign to generate donations to the Annual Fund. As part of this effort, the Sewanee Village participated as a designation for donations. The Village goal was $10,000 based on matching gifts from 2 generous donors totaling $5,000. In spite of all the economic issues I am happy to report that we accomplished the goal with 55 caring donors!! We will utilize it to continue to make enhancements in the village as we build off of last year’s momentum. So far we have created the ability to provide WiFi in Angel Park, partnered with the Sewanee Business Alliance for the Adirondack chairs, placed Billboards on I-24, provided sponsorship for the summer Friday Nights in the Park, made parking lot improvements, created a logo for the Sewanee Village and installed pole banners along University Avenue with the logo and some beautiful Mary Priestly wildflower prints. Thanks to all those who supported the Village in this effort.
Project updates include continued progress with the Tennessee Department of Transportation on the narrowing of 41-A between Kennerly and Kentucky Avenues. A meeting has been scheduled for a field review and the project should be put out to bid early this fall. The Specialty food market project has been paused due to the pandemic but we will reengage that project when it is feasible for businesses to financially be in a position to consider future investment. Housing is still a priority and we are in discussions with our developer, BP Construction, identifying some possibilities. The construction of the new Bookstore is ever so close to completion. It seems that every day there is noticeable progress.
The June Village Update meeting will be held on Tuesday June 2nd at 10 am CDT. We will once again hold the meeting on facebook.com/SewaneeVillageProject. This meeting will be on location at the new Bookstore with its manager, Russell Green.
I hope that you will be able to attend.
Wishing you all the best….and remember to keep your distance.
Frank X. Gladu is a Special Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor and project Manager for the Sewanee Village Development. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 931-598-3397. More information about the Sewanee Village Project can be obtained at the web site: www.sewanee.edu/village and the Facebook page: “Sewanee Village Project” and on Instagram at the “Sewanee Village Project”